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More women running farms

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Todd Mishler | September 15, 2013

Sue Bellman and Heather Bailey are veterans, while Colleen O'Neill and Lynn Lein are members of the newer wave.

However, all four Walworth County residents are part of a national trend in the past two decades that, according to the Center of Women's Business Research, shows female-owned businesses are growing at twice the rate of all companies.

(Read all the stories in the current Walworth County Sunday HERE.)

And, in particular, a U.S. Department of Agriculture census showed that women-owned farms in Wisconsin increased 58 percent from 5,793 in 1997 to 9,176 in 2007.

These women don't consider themselves special. But they are proud of their accomplishments and know that what they, and increasing numbers of others like them, are doing is helping revolutionize the agriculture industry and how Americans produce what they put on their dinner tables.

"I would bet that 15 percent to 20 percent of the people doing agricultural research are women," Bellman said. "I think it's great that so many women are taking over and getting involved. ... It takes a strong, independent person to run a farm, whether it's a man or a woman."

Read the complete story HERE.



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